Sean Burke Leaving Arizona Coyotes?


Sean Burke has been given permission to speak with other teams about upper management positions, Craig Morgan of Fox Sports Arizona reports.

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According to the report, Burke has spoken with seven to eight teams, but has not had any interviews with anyone yet. No team names were mentioned as to who he has spoken with.

Burke told Morgan,

"“I’ve really enjoyed the coaching and it has been rewarding, but I never went into this to coach. I wanted to manage from the moment I retired. Coaching is good because it gives you an additional avenue of experience, being in that dressing room every day, but when you stay in that role too long, it becomes more difficult to get where you want to go."

By the sound of that quote, I think it’s a safe bet that Burke will not return after this upcoming offseason. That’s disappointing, Burke has been an integral part of the Coyotes.

Aside from playing for the team from 1999 to 2004, Burke has been the Coyotes goaltending coach since 2009 and the assistant to the General Manager. Appropriately nicknamed, the goalie whisperer, Burke has been extremely successful in the coaching role.

Since 2009, Burke helped Ilya Bryzgalov become a top goalie in the league, he turned Mike Smith’s game completely around and then he basically saved Devan Dubnyk’s career as his most recent coaching success.

Dubnyk is probably the most intriguing story though. He lost his starting job in Edmonton and traded twice before the Coyotes signed him to man the back up role this past offseason. Dubnyk was traded to Minnesota about halfway through this season and it’s arguably the best thing to have happened to the Wild this season. Since being traded, Dubnyk has started 32 consecutive games and as of Tuesday night, won his tenth consecutive road game. So, the results speak for themselves.

In the same report, Burke added,

"“I don’t have some secret formula that these guys couldn’t learn from somebody else. It’s just about instilling confidence in them. Duby just needed someone to believe in him again.”"

As Coyotes fans know, goaltending has been the main component of the team that has carried them to their recent success. Losing the guy responsible for that would be a big blow, but as the team rebuilds and heads in a new direction on the ice, maybe that includes having to rely on stellar goaltending to carry the team changes as well.

Afterall, Smith has shown in the past to be very capable as a goalie and he is finishing this down year on a very high note. If Smith continues that style of play, the soon to be new and younger team will be just fine. Besides, the goaltending skill level won’t suddenly drop and as much as it would hurt to see Burke go, there are other very capable coaches or potential coaches out there that would do just fine to fill the soon to be vacant position.

Next: Mike Smith Showing Signs Of Improvement